No one can deny the fact that Islamabad is a very beautiful city but it has a reputation for being a city that sleeps early. And if you’re from Karachi you miss that gehma gehmi a whole lot! but let me tell you, Islamabad has changed a lot since your buchpan and mine.
This year my visit to Islamabad- after a hiatus of 2 years, led me to leave a bit of my heart there. It was just so so enjoyable. I mean apart from admiring the beautiful mountains and lush green scenes, if you indulge in the following activities like I did, I am sure you will not be able to get over it soon. So, here goes:
1.Visit Lok Virsa
If you are any bit interested in Pakistan’s culture and history, this is an exhaustive museum to re-visit your roots. Great for families and super informative for kids. The museum was established in 1982 and showcases the living cultures of Pakistan. It is located on the Shakarparian Hills.
It opens around 10 am which is the best time to visit as you will find the least crowd at that time. We reached there around 10:30 and believe me many people had started coming in. The museum is surrounded by art, crafts and jewelry shops so keep a bit of cash if you’re interested. You will find jewelry relatively lower priced here so I recommend that you purchase it from here instead of the malls in Islamabad. oh and they also have different art related programs running, so keep a look out if you’re interested in that kind of stuff!
2. Go for hiking
If you’re from Karachi (like me) or any other such city that is devoid of places for physical activities and you love them, then you can’t really miss out on hiking on one of the 6 trails in Islamabad. You can go early in the morning or even at evening (be sure to check the temperature though) and you will love it. The serene view from the top, the rush of climbing uphill, taking in some fresh air, and observing the greenery are just some of the benefits of hiking. While you are at it, you might as well take trail 3 which leads straight to Monal and have a mighty meal!
3. Have Tea at Chikachino
Ok the best thing I enjoyed this time in Islamabad was having chai and fries, samosas and pakoras at chikachino! Took me a while to get used to the name kher, Islamabad ka pyara mausam ho aur thandi hawa mein beth ker you enjoy your cup of karak-chai, iss se behtreen aur kuch ho nhi sakta. I legit made a hat trick of going there. Raat mein dekh bhaal k jana bhye, suna hai jaga nhi milti.
4. Grab nashta at Khoka Khola
In the past two or three years many new cafes have sprung up here which have really turned the scene on. We had breakfast in Islamabad at a couple of places, chaaye khana, cheema and chatta ( known for their desi parathe and alo salan with sohan halwa) but by far the most enjoyable was at khola khola. The décor, the ambience, their food dishes in which they serve their food (big thaals with little pyalas of portioned breakfast) everything was too good.
5. Visit Dam-ine-Koh
Islamabad gae aur Islamabad k nazare nhi lie oper se, tu phir tu zyadti hai bhyee! There are a couple of spots in Islamabad which give great city views (even from Monal and there’s zero point also) but we visited Daman-e-Koh and it was quite beautiful and busy. Grab a bite with the monkeys- there are so many claiming the place it’s really fun to watch them. But please be nice to them yaar.
Part 2 coming up in a while, tell me have you been to Islamabad and how was your experience?